Friday, June 14, 2019

Summer Frame of Mind #UseYourWords

Welcome to June's Use Your Words challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
smoke ~ freedom ~ teeter ~ friends ~ food

Do you remember being a kid, getting out of school for Summer, and the feeling of freedom that energized your soul?! Yes, you missed your friends, but if you were lucky, you would see the important ones during the Summer. Eventually, you were get onto Summer hours, and your brain would teeter between knowing what day it was, and falling into a abyss of playing and television, where you could not remember the day or time. School would start back before you knew it, but you would always have those Summer memories, at least until you hit your thirties and forties, and struggle to remember what you eat for breakfast.

I am now a mom. Summer is something different entirely. Something completely and totally different. I know I should be enjoying every single minute of it, because school will take up so much of Gigi's time now, and our Summers will be precious, and the memories important. Yes, I know this. However, I am torn between trying harder to enjoy it, counting down the days until she goes back, and simply sending up smoke signals so I can be rescued. More than once, I have wondered if I will survive this Summer. I am not sure if the odds are in my favor or not. I will say, if Gigi asks me for food one more time today, I may not survive. How much can one five year old possibly eat? Like, seriously, did someone install a bottomless pit in her stomach?! Where does it all go?! 

When I was a kid, I spent my Summers happy to be out of school, while simultaneously feeling impatient for school to start again. I loved school. I also probably hated it a little bit. I definitely loved learning. I am quite happy that Gigi has already asked several times when school starts again. I am happy to know she enjoys school. She also gets excited that she has more Summer left. Soon after, she asks for another snack, and that is my life lately.

I am on bed rest, because I tore my ACL slightly. Hopefully, it heals up, and I will be back to normal soon. My normal is all that much better than bed rest, but at least it isn't bed rest. UGH! I am trying hard to just let my body heal and get myself back to where I was just a few years ago. My doctor is retiring in July, and I am honestly heartbroken. I LOVE my doctor. He is absolutely amazing. Hands down the best primary doctor I have ever had. I have already picked my new doctor, and I am hopeful, though I doubt anyone will ever top my current doctor. I recently lost my Oncologist as well. Unfortunately, he passed away. It really tore me up emotionally, because he was an amazing doctor, and an amazing soul. I have been blessed since moving to California, with some wonderful doctors.

Gigi goes to her ENT today, and I am very curious to see what happens. I am curious if he will want to put new tubes in for her, go ahead with the sinus surgery, or just wait and see what happens naturally. I am praying that whatever is done, is successful, and leads to a healthy future. She will be returning to her Endocrinology specialist soon, and has to see her Gastroenterology specialist soon as well. I am just hoping everything gets sorted out, and next school year, she is much healthier than this past year. We had a rough year all around, and honestly, I think she did really well, considering all she went through. I am proud of her.

So, between medical appointments, I hope to have some fun with her. My knee injury is putting this on hold, but if all goes well, I will be to good by the end of next week. Which is good. It will be in time for Gigi's sixth birthday, and her paint party. Can you believe she is six?! Six years old. Nope. Does not seem possible to me yet. No way am I the mom of a first grader. I just gave birth to her yesterday. I just held her for the first time, and said I love you to her sweet little face. I am certain that was just yesterday, so she cannot possible be turning six. Only she is. My baby, my teeny tiny baby, is six years old, and no longer teeny tiny. 

Please excuse me, while I go cool down with an Otterpop, and cry sad mom tears, right after I get Gigi another snack. I mean, it has been a whole thirty minutes since she last ate, I am sure she will be here, to tell me she is "starving" any second now. 

Now, tell me, what are you doing for the Summer?! Any big plans?! Playing it normal?! Let me know.

Don't forget to go check out the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts. I will meet you right there, after I get another iced cold Powerade. I cannot drink enough, since our heatwave hit. I even gave up and turned on the air conditioner.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Friday, June 7, 2019

Wonderful World #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to June's Secret Subject Swap. This month, eight fabulous bloggers submitted a secret subject, to randomly be assigned to a fellow blogger to craft into a blog post, and were assigned a secret subject of their own, to craft into their own unique blog post. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and publishing our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:
You are on a walk and fall in a hole, it is another world, what do you see?

It was submitted by: (Thank you, Dawn, for such a thought provoking prompt!!)

As a young kid, I watched Star Trek. I actually really enjoyed it, even though Sci-fi was really not my cup of tea. Looking back, I'd be willing to bet that most of it wasn't something I fully understood. I really adored Jean Luc Picard, Worf, Spock, and Data. Lately, Chad has me watching Star Trek: Discovery, and once again, I'm enjoying it.

In Discovery, they've found themselves in an alternate, parallel universe. It has been entertaining, to see how the characters we've gotten to know, compare to their counterparts, in the alternate universe. It has also gotten me to ponder, what an alternate me would be like.

Is she alive? Has she died? If so, how did she die?! Is she good or bad?! Is she making her universe better!!?? Is she married?! Is she a mom?! What is her career, if she has one?! So. Many. Questions.

So, if ever I fall through a hole, into another world, I think my first hope, is for it to be the alternate version of this world. I would love to carefully explore, and discover the differences, meet the alternate versions of the people I know, and hopefully even meet myself. 

Obviously, I'm really hoping other me, is honest, kind, compassionate, helpful, empathic, brave, strong, successful, and making her world a much better place. As odd as it would feel, I'd love to ask her tons of questions. Hopefully, I could learn things, which would be useful back home in my universe. 

If alternate me, is bad news, I'd love to try to help and encourage her to change, and be a better person. I'd also warn everyone about the evil/terrible people from my universe, so they can watch them closely. Also, since sometimes a dead person in my universe, could possibly still be alive in the alternate universe. I would  try to spend as much time as possible with them. I'd soak up the time, and probably say some things, I should have said.

I'd also look into their science and medicine. I'd get information on their medical advances. I'd share any of ours, they don't have yet. I'm hopeful, that a trip of this nature, would be mutually helpful. I'd love to truly help our society. I'd even love to make myself a better person. 

Also, I'd be sure to try their foods. I'd also love to talk to Gigi, and maybe get some insight into what to do better, as her mom. Any insight would be appreciated. Five has come to an end, with her becoming a confusing little girl. Being her mom, is hard work. Totally worth it, but hard nonetheless, so insider information would be welcome.

So, what about you.... Where would your hole lead you to?! What would you do there!? Anyone hoping to go back to the past?! Forward to the future?! Please, let me know your hopes for your trip down the rabbit hole. I want details, please.

I hope you are all having a fantastic beginning of Summer. No complaints here. Don't forget to check out the rest of June's Secret Subject Swap posts. I'll see you there, once I get a refill. I'm currently brewing Dark Side Roasters, and it is so delicious!!

Follow these links, to find the rest of June's Secret Subject Swap posts:

Friday, May 31, 2019

Rainbow Voyage #FunnyFriday

Welcome to May’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.
1. Alice had always wondered what it'd look like, if a unicorn puked on a car. Now she knows. 
2. When Alice told Bob to do something, to make sure their car would stand out in parking lots, because she was tired of forgetting where she parked, this was not entirely what she had in mind. 
3. Alice knew moving next to a paintball arena was a bad idea. She hadn't realized just how bad, until she saw her car this morning. 
4. Some people were born to stand out. Alice was one of them, and she really knew how to stand out. 
5. In hindsight, leaving her grand kids alone with paint for five minutes, probably wasn't her smartest move. Hopefully she could get this fixed, before Bob saw it. 
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado   
Southern Belle Charm      
Cognitive Script               
The Bergham Chronicles   
Bookworm in the Kitchen

I just wanted to take a moment to with my Kateri a very happy 16th birthday in Heaven. I'll always love you. Don't drive God's car too fast. Make sure you wear your seat belt always. xo

Friday, May 17, 2019

Rambling Outlet #UseYourWords

Welcome to May's Use Your Words round-up! This is how it works: participating bloggers chose four to six words or short phrases for another blogger to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are: 
coffee ~ drawing ~ outlet ~ infrastructure ~ voice ~ performative

It was submitted by: (Thank you, Jenniy, for such thought provoking words and the wonderful discussions we have had recently!! Also, coffee. <3)

This is going to be one of those posts, where I just ramble on and on, and hopefully you follow along, and maybe you don't, but in the end at least I got stuff off my chest. Not the best type of post, but probably the exact post I need to make at the moment. I have so much on my mind lately, and this blog is probably my best outlet for my thoughts and emotions. When I was younger, my biggest outlet for my thoughts and emotions, was art, and it was definitely my happy place. I don't care if I was drawing on random scraps of paper, painting on canvas, experimenting with charcoal, or attempting to create a 3D art piece, I was definitely in my happy zone. I spent every possible moment of my senior year, in the art room. 

These days, I would definitely say that art has taken a backseat in my life, and reading and writing has become my thing. I know part of it, is because art supplies are expensive, and I could never justify the spending, when really I would just be doing it to get my mind to calm and my thoughts to sort themselves and simmer down. I definitely think I spent my teens and twenties using my art in place of my voice, on many occasions. These days, I use written word to be my voice, and I am not sure if the irony is rich or just sad. When I was younger, I was not scared to voice my thoughts and opinions, but I think I felt like my art shared it better than my words ever could. These days, I am still not all that scared to voice my opinions, but I am more cautious and conscientious of potential consequences, and so I often just write out my feelings. 

One definite irony to my current method, is that the vast majority of the stuff I write, where I voice my feelings and thoughts, is never even read by anyone other than myself. I guess it really does not matter who hears or reads what I have to say, just as long as I say it, and get it off my chest. Most of the time, it comes out in the form of poetry. Sometimes, it is in the form of a blog post or a Facebook status. I do sometimes tweet out my thoughts, though that does not happen all that often. I have become more aware lately, of the importance of me getting things off my chest, and I have also become aware of the potential consequences of speaking out, and I had even created a completely anonymous blog, so that I could just say anything and everything. It never really developed into anything, though I have been thinking about trying to make it work again lately, as I notice more and more, the impact stress is having on me physically.

The main reason I basically abandoned the anonymous blog, is because I feel like if I have something to say, and I choose to say it, I should stand behind my words one hundred percent. I really did not want to say anything too crazy in blog posts, but I definitely wanted to be less edited. This is my blog, and I can write anything I want, and I do, but often I find myself holding back some. Sometimes, it is simply by not adding in swear words that I think in my head, and other times it is by writing an entire post on a subject, and then simply never publishing the post. I do not mind being controversial, but at the same time, I want my blog to be a peaceful place. These days, it seems like when controversy strikes on the Internet, it can grow out of control quickly, and I really want to avoid that on my blog.

A good example of this, is something that happened to me recently. It seems like everyone wants to be YouTube famous these days. I know that is a terrible generalization, and that the number of people who could care less about being YouTube famous, far outnumbers those who want it. It is just undeniable that people are often hungry for recognition, and trying to be the one with the video that goes viral. Sometimes, that comes in the form of actions that I find to be terrible. A good example of this, is the videos you see of someone who obviously needs help, and yet people are more worried about getting the incident on film, than on helping. 

Another thing you will often see are pranks. Sometimes, I feel the pranks go too far. I know some people have even gotten in actual legal trouble over stuff done in videos, and I am grateful for that. Sometimes, the pranks seem harmless enough, but if you look at the bigger picture, it is not as harmless as one may hope. Recently, on an episode of Live PD (A show on A&E, which is similar to COPS, but just live), one such prank happened. As I was watching the guy interact with the police, I remember thinking... This cannot be real. This has to be a joke. I was also very worried for the guy. I was thinking, either he is on some hidden camera show, or he is mentally unstable and possibly a danger to himself/others.

The next day, I found out that it was a YouTube star, and he was filming a prank video. He purposely stalked the area where he knew the Live PD officers were filming, and did everything he could, within a reasonable level of wrong, to get pulled over, and then he put on quite a show for the Live PD cameras. Of course, his followers knew what he was doing, but for those of us who had no clue who he was, it was quite the confusing segment, and many of us were genuinely concerned for him. It was actually a relief to find out it was just a YouTuber doing a prank. 

I did not find it funny, because I guess I have zero sense of humor. However, after thinking about it for a few minutes, I actually was a bit upset with him. He wasted the time of those officers, and did it all in hopes of going viral and growing his YouTube fame and success. The more I thought about it, the more I felt what he did may have been a simple prank, but it was also just plain wrong. So, I commented on his video of the prank, saying I hope he gets in trouble, so he can learn a lesson, and that I think he should be fined. I wrote the comment, in hopes he would read it, and realize that not everyone felt he was funny, and to let him know that he deserved to be punished for his prank.

I also hoped that if he had not taken a moment, to realize that his prank really was a waste of valuable manpower, my comment may make him think on it. I have no clue if he read my comment, but I can tell you that his fans read it. They did not waste any time before jumping down my throat. So many assumptions were made, as were some downright hateful comments. I was called a racist. I was called a cop lover. I was called various horrible names. I was accused of being a horrible parent. I was told multiple times to kill myself. I was blown away by the absolute level of hatred that was unleashed on me. I was grateful that I am as strong as I am emotionally, and not some young kid feeling lost and alone. I could see how many of the comments could negatively impact a person's well being, particularly their metal well being. It was then, that I decided YouTube really is a horrid place.

Not that I owed anyone an explanation or a reason, but I did reply to many of the first comments, but then I eventually just quit even reading the comments. One of the very first comments was someone calling me a racist. I still really do not even understand what their thought process was, that brought them to this conclusion. Considering I am a "white" person, and I wanted the guy in the video, also a "white" person to be in trouble for his prank. There were no other races involved, so how was race even a factor in the situation at all?

I simply told that guy.... My own child is black, so please get out of here with your ignorant assumptions. I really wanted to add on, asking how they even felt the need to bring race into it at all, but honestly I did not want to drag out any communications longer than necessary. Of course, saying that opened me up to a bunch of people making racist comments to me. Racism and my daughter are definitely subjects that I am most sensitive about, but I just reminded myself that these were ignorant people on the Internet, and I moved on. 

It blew my mind, that many of the people who were commenting and insulting me, were also saying that I needed to get a life and lighten up. They said that if I had a sense of humor, I would realize that it was such a funny segment. I do not find it funny. I know all too well what a difference a few seconds can make, in certain situations. I told them that they were laughing now, but that if their loved one needed the help of an officer, and the closest officers were being kept busy by someone doing a prank for YouTube, so the second closest officers had to rush to help their loved ones, but did not arrive in time, they would be the first ones to be outraged. Nobody should ever waste the time of cops, firemen, or paramedics. Not ever. In emergencies, every second can be the difference between life and death. No Internet fame is worth more than a human life.

I do consider myself an ally. I am not just an ally to certain groups of people. I feel like I am an ally to everyone. Well, everyone except for racists and rapists. Fuck you, assholes. You may need allies, but I am not the one. Bye. Anyway, I am not just someone who says I am an ally, and then when situations arise where I need to stand up, I don't because of the negative backlash I may face. No. I am not a performative ally. I am a genuine ally. If you are transgender, and you need someone at your side on Capitol Hill, to fight against a law that wants to deny you your basic rights... I am there. If you are black and there is a group of KKK members harassing you, and I am walking by... Do not worry. I will not keep walking. I will stop and be in front of you. If they are going to hurt you, they will have to go through me first. If you are a Jewish person, and you are being harassed, you can bet your butt that I have your back, and you are not alone. 

I simply won't stand for hate. I will not tolerate it. We cannot tolerate it. If we do, it will win, and we cannot let hate win. We cannot let hate take over our world. We cannot stand up for what we "believe" in, but only when it is easy and does not cost us anything. We must always stand for it. If we are an ally, we need to really be an ally. I have been told more than once, that I am going to die one day, for standing up to someone who ends up being violent. I always say the same thing... That is okay. I died doing the right thing. I would rather die fighting for what I believe in, than to live forever, watching hate destroy everything I believe in.

Plus, if I am honest, I don't understand how I could not be an ally to the LGBTQ community. It is my community. How can I not support the community as a whole?! I am asking this genuinely, because it was recently brought to my attention, that a certain makeup artist, who is obviously a member of the LGBTQ community, has actually spewed hate against a branch of the community. How?! Talk about confusing nonsense. I was a lesbian for many years. I was older when I finally genuinely liked a guy. I had had a few "boyfriends", but they never went very deep in the connection. I was always a woman who loved women. Period. After I was an adult, I met a guy that I actually liked on a very deep level. That is when my "label" changed. I honestly do not label myself. I honestly don't see a need for a label. I feel like my sexuality does not need to be announced or explained. I am just me. I love who I love. That is that.

I have never hidden my sexuality. In many ways, I have always felt like I wore it on my sleeve. It is not my fault that people have not properly figured it out, and I have never felt the need to correct people who assume wrongly. I figure that people will figure it out eventually, and it really does not matter anyway, so why waste time on the subject?! That being said, I would never deny my sexuality either. If I were ever asked by anyone, even someone I know would hate me, I would speak the absolute truth, and stand proud for who and what I am. Period.

So, lately, I have been planning out blog posts I want to write. Some of them may never even get posted, but they will most certainly get written, if for no other reason than I need to get it off my chest. Also, I often write blog posts in my head, and never actually write them out, but some of them, I feel would actually be really good posts. I should get better at writing those down. Others, I am sure you would all be grateful that I do not actually take the time to sit down, and write down all the thoughts I had, while I was mentally drafting the blog post.

A good example of that, happened this week. Gigi was recently diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism by her doctor, and was referred over to a Endocrinologist. That is all good, except for the fact that will take weeks for her to actually get into the doctor, and she has symptoms that are bothering her now. After a lengthy call with her future Endocrinologist's office, I was told that we needed to bring Gigi into the ER. Sadly, the ER that was associated with her doctor was two hours away. When it comes to Gigi and her health, I will drive any distance necessary. So, that is why I ended up on a road trip with Chad and Gigi on Tuesday. I am hoping that by tomorrow night, she has improved a lot, and that by Monday she is back to good. Unfortunately, if she doesn't improve quite a bit by tomorrow, we will be back in the ER on Saturday. That was when the doctor wanted to see big improvement by. So, if you pray, and want to send some her way, I know Gigi would appreciate it.

Now, back to blogs you would be glad I did not actually type out. On our way home on Tuesday, I mentally drafted a blog post. I wanted to rant about the road and highway infrastructure here in California, and how it not only needs massive improvements, but that I would love a detailed explanation. The roads are absolutely terrible here, and yet we pay sky high taxes, and often pay extra, with the very purpose of bettering our highway and railway infrastructure. Something tells me that the money cannot possibly be used properly. If it were, I cannot imagine our roads and highways would be as terrible as they are. Something definitely needs to change, because I have traveled on roads all around the United States, and the ones here are by far the worst. Amazing views but terrible highways.

I mentally drafted a post earlier today, and I got sidetracked with caring for Gigi and raging against the post office, for the mishandling of my package, but I still may actually write this post. It was about coffee. You're not surprised are you? I know, I am predictable. I was just waiting for a delivery from Dark Side Roasters, and I started thinking about writing a post, to tell you about my favorite coffees. I am loving several that DSR offers, plus I have favorites from a few other brands. My post about coffee quickly became a post about small shops. I thought I would highlight my favorite small shops to buy from, and what items I love the most from each shop. I do not know if the post will ever get written, but it just might. 

I told you I was going to ramble, and I certainly did not let you down. I did exactly what I said I would. I do not know whether to say you're welcome or I am sorry. Maybe both? I will tell you that you may start getting more of my rambling posts, because one of the main reasons I started this blog, was so I would have a place to voice my feelings and thoughts, so I would not go insane from holding it all in. Gigi was a baby, and I was overwhelmed. Now, she is about to graduate Kindergarten, and I am still overwhelmed. In some ways, I hope that never changes. In other ways, I could use a break. Maybe that break will come in the form of more rambling blogs, so I can get more of my thoughts out into the world.

I promise to try to focus more on things like coffee and awesome shirts and magical cups, and less on the highway conditions in California. In the meantime, you should definitely get yourself a drink, get comfy, and go read the rest of this month's Use Your Words posts! I will see you there, right after I get a fresh cup of coffee, and make sure Gigi does not need anything. Fingers crossed we do not have to return to the hospital, especially since the road we take to get there is horrendous. 

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Friday, May 10, 2019

Stop and Count #SecretSubjectSwap

Welcome to May's Secret Subject Swap. This week nine brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.

My “Secret Subject” is:

As you are driving, the car in front of you stops at a stop sign and six more people than can fit in the car pile out, run around, and climb back in, then drive off.

It was submitted by: Bookworm in the Kitchen (Thank you for such an awesome subject prompt!! I am not sure I did what you had hoped with it, but I truly enjoyed my trip down memory lane, that you sent me on!!)

I may have been the worst person to get this subject. I am sure for most, this would have been an excellent short story starter. For me, it simply brings back a memory. A fond memory, now that I think of it. 

I had just graduated high school, and I was wasting a few days on fun, before I had to start working seriously, and preparing for going away to college. I lived in Connecticut, and our favorite way to have fun, was to hang out at the casinos (Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun). I still enjoy visiting casinos, even though I never do any major gambling. I think a lot of my love for them, is the nostalgia of my fun, younger days. So, it should be of no surprise that it was a Friday night, and I had just gotten paid, and my friends and I had just left Mohegan and were headed to Foxwoods. (I should add in, none of us were even old enough to gamble. We just loved the buffet, concerts, stores, and people watching! I actually met one of my most meaningful boyfriends at the casino!)

This was back when everything was still new, and many things were still in the process of being built. I have not been to either casino is quite some years, but they have both expanded a lot from the days I spent there. We were at this area, where there is really nothing around, you come to a big intersection, and you can see the casino a short ways down the road. It was as if the casino was an oasis. Now, it has built up extensively. I actually hope to go visit both one day soon. I want to go for the food and shopping, not the gambling.

So, it was raining and my friends and I were sitting at the red light (sorry it's not a sign), and suddenly the doors all open on the Jetta that was stopped in front of us. Then suddenly all these buff looking athletes (probably early 20's), are running laps around the car. There were five of them. My friends and I were laughing and honking, and some old guy was yelling out his window about "idiot kids", and then suddenly they all piled back into the Jetta, and we all traveled on our ways. 

It was so random. My friend and I were trying to figure out how they all fit, considering there was a girl who was in the center of the backseat. I would be lying if I said that something similar did not happen a few hours later, only it was three girls and one guy, and the car was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. I would also be lying if I said that I wasn't one of those girls. I would be telling you the truth, if I said, if you ever did decide to do something like that, don't do it with a police car three cars behind you at the light. 

I still have no clue why those guys did it. They ran so many laps, that we lost track, but we were pretty sure they all returned into the doors they came out of. So, they did not change drivers or anything. Nonetheless, it added some laughter into what turned out to be a really fun night (Minus about twenty minutes being lectured by a Trooper).

Gigi better never do anything crazy like that though. It is funny how as a kid we don't think twice about doing something, but then when we have a kid, we do NOT want them do many of the things we did ourselves. It really gives you a bigger respect for your parents. 

Do any of you have stories of encountering the same or similar thing as we did?! Did this prompt put a short story into your head?! If you want, you are welcome to send it to me, and I will add it onto this, with full credit to you.

I hope you are all having a wonderful May so far!!

Here are links to all the blogs now featuring May's Secret Subject Swap posts.  Sit back, grab a drink, and check them all out. See you there:

Baking In A Tornado                      
Wandering Web Designer                
Cognitive Script                              
Southern Belle Charm                    
Bookworm in the Kitchen                 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Feed the Hungry #FightHunger

It may shock you to know this, but one in eight Americans struggles with hunger. There are families right here in America, that don't have enough food. Struggles with hunger are faced in every single state. From cities, to small towns, and even rural communities. There's no age limits, it affects from babies to the elderly. 

The faces of hunger, aren't always the ones you expect. Sometimes, it's the business banker, who was laid off, and has struggled for months, to find a job, that can cover his mortgage, bills, and buy groceries. Sometimes, it's the single mom on your street, who struggles to pay the bills, and provide food for her three kids, since her husband was killed in a car accident. Sometimes, it's the elderly couple on the corner, who struggle to balance medical bills, their regular bills, and buying food, on their small retirement incomes. Sometimes, it's the college student, who struggles to focus on their professor's lecture, over the growling of their stomach. The cost of their books and laundry take up their measly income, and not wanting to take out large loans, they're trying to survive on the one meal a day meal plan.

Hunger does not discriminate. It can happen to anyone, at anytime. Many studies say, most Americans are one to two missed paychecks away from homelessness. Many families choose to pay bills, over buying groceries, and the parents eat less, so that the children can have more. This is the reality here in America, and other countries face similar or worse circumstances.

Thankfully, we have food banks here in America, and they can help provide families with much needed food. Whenever you see food or turkey drives, just know that the food collected, goes to families in the community, who would otherwise go without. Families just like yours.

I was happy to learn that Walmart and Sam's Club have teamed up with Feeding America. You can help feed America, by simply shopping at Walmart and Sam's Club. Provide your family with the things you need, and enable Walmart and Sam's Club, to help Feeding America's network of food banks, provide for families in need.

Learn more here:

You can also help by donating to your local food bank. Food banks accept donations all year long, not just at holidays. It is also a wonderful place to volunteer.

One in eight. We need to decrease this number. If we all join together, we can make a difference.

As someone who has had to rely on Food Banks in the past, I promise you, your donations will be much appreciated. 

If you're not sure how to help in your area, let me know where you are located, and I'll get you a list of food banks in your area. 

Friday, April 26, 2019

Pump it Up #FunnyFriday

Today’s post is this month’s Funny Friday, a regular feature published on the last Friday of every month. Funny Friday is a collaborative project. Each month one of the participants submits a picture, then we all write five captions or thoughts inspired by that month’s picture. Links to the other bloggers’ posts are below, click on them and see what they’ve come up with. I hope we bring a smile to your face as you start your weekend.
Funny Friday  150 X 150.jpg
Here’s today’s picture. It was submitted by Dawn of Cognitive Script.

1. Why is this so slow?! My Grandma's molasses, is faster than this. 

2. Susan prided herself on never needing a man, but admittedly, not needing to pump gas would be nice. 

3. Please, be under forty dollars. Mama wants new shoes. 

4. As she watched her hard earned dollars trickle into her gas tank, Susan began to think investing in gas and oil might be wise. 

5. I don't need to be stupid rich, but rich enough to not need to stare at the cost meter, as I fill up, would be lovely.
Click on the links below and let some other bloggers make you smile:
Baking In A Tornado   
Southern Belle Charm      
Cognitive Script               
The Bergham Chronicles   
Bookworm in the Kitchen

Friday, April 12, 2019

A Woman's Strength #UseYourWords

Welcome to April's Use Your Words blogging challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for someone else to craft into a post. All words must be used at least once and all the posts will be unique as each writer has received their own set of words. That is the challenge, here is a fun twist; no one who is participating knows who got their words and in what direction the writer will take them. Until now.

My words are:
power ~ woman ~ strength ~ endurance ~ forever ~ trials

It was submitted by: (Stacy, these words were AWESOME!! Thank you!!)

One thing, that I have heard a lot, especially these last few years, is that I have so much strength and endurance. Not necessarily physical strength and endurance *points to the cane I utilize so I cut back on the number of times I fall*, but strength of mind and endurance of life trials. When I was younger, I heard about a different kind of strength. I was so strong and powerful for a woman/girl. As annoyed as I would get at those comments, I wish I were still hearing them. I wish I could hear them forever. I wish I had never lost that physical strength, and I wish I had appreciated it more, and taken it for granted a lot less. 

I just want to start by saying.... I really hate stereotypes, especially ones based on gender. I hate women being thought of as weak and men as strong, simply because of their gender. I know some strong women. I know some weak men. I know people of all different abilities. I have seen weak people become strong, and vice versa. So, I really wish that stereotype would stop. Really, I have zero use for any stereotypes. For pretty much every stereotype that exists, I have met at least one person, that proves it to be false. So, why do we keep stringing them along through the generations?!

Who knows. I am the last person to ask about why things are the way they are. I often struggle to grasp why things are happening as they are, or why people aren't stopping certain things, and are allowing other things to happen. I am honest so darn clueless. I am also not some super human. Have I endured a lot of trials? Sure. Have I survived them all? Yep. Am I strong because of it? Pretty much. Guess what?! I am pretty sure the same would be true about anyone reading this. I think we can all handle way more than we ever give ourselves credit for. They say we don't know how strong we are, until we are forced to be strong. I agree.

As a high school kid, had you told me I would one day be thirty-six with two angels in Heaven, a stubborn five year old, and no other kids happening ever... I would have told you NO WAY! First of all, I never thought I would lose a child, let alone two, and whenever I thought about losing a child, I thought there was NO WAY I could survive that. I was also convinced I was going to have six or more kids. Not going to lie, I am kinda glad I was wrong on that last part. Could you imagine six Gigis?! I promise you, I am not that strong! LOL That girl keeps me on the toes, the same as six kids, and she is just one little girl. Phew. Five others?! Goodness gracious.

As for my angels in Heaven. It happened and I survived. Barely at times, but I did survive. That is what we do. We survive. We handle it. We push forward. It is just what I have been doing, since my daddy passed in September. I did not want to go forward. I wanted to go back. I wanted him back. I wanted a do over. I wanted to hug him more, and tell him so many things, and make sure he knew I loved him. Life doesn't work that way, though, so you just keep going. I promise everyone who hears about something I have gone through, and thinks... I could never survive that. You could, and you will, if it ever happens to you.

It is funny, because I am not the strong, young kid I once was. No way I could lift weights the way I used to, or play ball the way I once did, or even walk the way I used to. That girl is gone. At least on the outside. On the inside, she is still here. I don't know that she will ever surface again, however, I think she probably would, if Gigi were ever in danger. I am pretty sure I could move mountains for that girl. I may die immediately after, but I would make sure Gigi was fine first. It is the mom in me. Yes, things happened, and my outward strength deteriorated, but my strength of will, is still inside me.

Honestly, I used to be such a ferocious advocate for so many things. These days, I am just a housewife, that tries to push through the day to day, and hopes for a miracle one day. However, occasionally my advocate button gets pressed, and I come out with a mighty roar and just as fierce as ever. I am much more tired afterwards, but not before I speak my peace. It is physically exhausting, but really good for my soul. It reminds me that I am still the same me I was before I got sick. She just does not get to come out as often as before. 

Also, I know I am biased, but men really need to stop saying women are weak. Listen, I was on bed rest for nearly two years. My muscles were done. I was weak. I was sick. I still grew a human being inside of my abdomen, and then with atrophied muscles and all, I pushed her out. All. By. Myself. Without any medicine. I would love to see a man do that. Seriously. I'll wait.

Seriously though, no gender is stronger than the other. We are all awesome. We should all coexist peacefully. Truly. I really hope and wish for that. I am so tired of the hate and judgement and racism and sexism. Tired of it all. I want equality. I want mutual support and admiration. I want respect. Maybe one day.

I do hope a day comes, when a young lady gets told.... Wow. You have so much strength!... They are referring to the strength of her character, and not her ability to carry all the groceries in, in one trip.

Seriously though... Can we all agree?! One trip with groceries or die?! 

Okay. Enough of me rambling on. Get yourself a drink and go check out the rest of the Use Your Words posts.

Links to the other “Use Your Words” posts:

Summer Frame of Mind #UseYourWords

Welcome to June's Use Your Words challenge. This is how it works: participating bloggers picked four to six words or short phrases for s...